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NBC/Telemundo poll underscores diversity of Latino electorate

First Read is your briefing from “Meet the Press” and the NBC Political Unit on the day’s most important political stories and why they matter.
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Supporters of Donald Trump protest outside the Clark County Election Department on Nov. 7, 2020 in North Las Vegas, Nev.Ethan Miller / Getty Images file

WASHINGTON — If it’s Monday ... President Biden travels to Puerto Rico to assess to the damage of Hurricane Fiona. … The National Archives says Trump Era records are still missing. ... a new NBC News/Telemundo poll finds Republicans cutting into Democrats’ lead among Latino voters. .... A Nevada poll shows tight senate and gubernatorial contests. ... A Spectrum News/Siena poll has Republicans ahead in Florida. ... Mandela Barnes goes on the attack on abortion in Wisconsin Senate. ... And the U.S. Supreme Court begins its newest term.

But first: What stands out from our new NBC/Telemundo poll isn’t just that Republicans have improved their standing with Latino voters over the past decade.

It’s also how diverse the Latino electorate is — reflecting many of the same geographical, gender and religious divides as the country as a whole. 

Overall, Democrats enjoy a 21-point lead on congressional preference, with 54% of Latino voters preferring Democrats in control of Congress, versus 33% who want Republicans in charge, according to the survey.

That’s down from Democrats’ 42-point advantage in our Oct. 2012 NBC/WSJ/Telemundo oversample of Latino voters. 

Yet check out these divides in our latest poll: 

  • Latina women are D+29. Latino men are D+9.
  • Urban Latinos are D+28. Suburban Latinos are D+13. Rural Latinos are D+8.
  • Similarly, California Latinos are D+30. Texas Latinos are D+20. Florida Latinos are D+7.
  • And Catholic Latinos are D+27. Non-Catholic Latinos are D+15.

“Latinos are an incredibly diverse community, and there are many segments of Latino voters — not just one Latino voter,” said Democratic pollster Aileen Cardona-Arroyo, who conducted this survey with Republican Bill McInturff and his team at Public Opinion Strategies.

Added Telemundo news anchor Julio Vaqueiro on “Meet the Press” yesterday: “Latinos are just like any other ethnic group — it’s important where they live, it’s important their age, where they come from.”

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The number of the day is … 87

That’s at least how many people in America died after Hurricane Ian slammed into the southeastern United States, per counts by government officials and NBC News

The count includes 83 in Florida and four in North Carolina. Officials continue search and rescue efforts with fears that the death toll could rise

President Biden plans to head to Florida Wednesday, where more than a half-million people in the state are still lacking power. The stopgap funding bill that recently passed Congress includes $18.8 billion for disaster relief, according to CNBC.

And today, he travels to Puerto Rico to survey the damage from another hurricane, Fiona, which led to 25 deaths on the island and significant infrastructure issues. The Washington Post reports he’ll announce more than $60 million in federal funding for future storm preparation to Puerto Rico, days after he said that “we owe Puerto Rico a hell of a lot more than they’ve already gotten.”

Other numbers to know:

$14 million: How much the GOP super PAC Congressional Leadership Fund is adding to its spending in key House races, per Axios.

$62 million: How much Rick Caruso has spent on his Los Angeles mayoral race, much of it self-funded, per the Los Angeles Times.

7: The number of jailed Americans that Venezuela released over the weekend in exchange for two Venezuelan prisoners who are nephews of President Nicholas Maduro’s wife.  

125: At least how many people were killed in a stampede after a soccer match in Indonesia. 

$2.7 billion: The amount of compensation payments for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks included in a bill the House passed on Friday. 

22%: Turnout in rural counties in four recent House special elections, per a Politico analysis.

Midterm roundup: What happens in Vegas

Nevada is a critical battleground state in the midterms, with a new poll showing close contests for Senate and governor. 

Nevada Independent/OH Predictive poll finds both races within the margin of error. In the Senate race, 45% of those surveyed backed Republican Adam Laxalt, while 43% backed Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. In the governor’s race, 45% backed Republican Joe Lombardo while 42% backed Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak. 

Lombardo and Sisolak also faced off in a debate over the weekend. Lombardo put some distance between him and former President Donald Trump, who has endorsed Lombardo, by saying the 2020 election wasn’t “rigged” and balking at whether to characterize Trump as a “great president.” 

Latino voters are a key voting bloc in Nevada, and NBC News’ Natasha Korecki reports from Las Vegas that Democrats are concerned Latino voters will stay home in November, disaffected by the economy. Melissa Morales, president of Somos PAC, which has boosted Cortez Masto, told Korecki, “It’s what’s keeping me up at night.”

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Pennsylvania Senate: The Washington Post details the controversial medical tips and products that were discussed on Republican Mehmet Oz’s television show. 

Arizona Governor: Former President Donald Trump is holding another rally in Arizona to boost his slate of GOP candidates, including gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake and Senate nominee Blake Masters.

Georgia Governor: A federal judge in Georgia ruled Friday that Georgia’s voting laws do not violate the constitution or the Voting Rights Act, ruling against a group associated with Democrat Stacey Abrams.

New Mexico Governor: Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Republican nominee Mark Ronchetti sparred over abortion, crime and homelessness in a debate Friday evening.

Michigan Governor: Trump rallied in Michigan for his endorsed candidates on Saturday, calling Democrats “cruel and vindictive left-wing tyrants.” Republican nominee Tudor Dixon spoke before Trump took the stage as she tries to win the swing state by embracing the former president

Texas Governor: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke met for their only in-person debate on Friday, with issues about immigration, energy and gun laws looming large.

Wisconsin Governor/Senate: Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and gubernatorial nominee Tim Michels won’t commit to accepting the results of their upcoming elections, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

Texas Attorney General: The Associated Press is out with a new deep dive into Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office, finding that “Paxton and his deputies have sought to turn cases into political advantage” and that the office had to drop recent human trafficking and sexual assault cases because they couldn’t locate a victim. 

Ad watch: Mandela Barnes goes on the attack on abortion

Democrat Mandela Barnes is launching his first negative ad of the Wisconsin Senate race Monday, targeting GOP Sen. Ron Johnson on abortion. 

“Johnson supported a ban on abortions,” a narrator says in the 30-second ad, shared first with NBC News. “He co-sponsored a bill that makes no exception for rape, incest or the life of a woman. And Johnson said if women don’t like it, they can move. The truth is: It’s Ron Johnson who doesn’t belong in Wisconsin.”

The ad refers to Johnson co-sponsoring the “Life at Conception Act” in 2011 enshrining a “right to life or the right to life of each born and preborn human person” in the Constitution and allowing equal protections at “the moment of fertilization.”

The ad is part of a multi-million-dollar campaign and will air on broadcast, cable and digital platforms throughout the state, per Barnes’ campaign.

ICYMI: What else is happening in the world 

NBC News’ Sahil Kapur reports that Republicans are abandoning their years-long crusade to repeal the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform.

New reporting in the New York Times reveals the identity of a woman who lured Venezuelan migrants on a flight to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, last month.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva are headed to a high-stakes runoff election after Sunday’s initial presidential election.